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Copyright Hull Geological Society.

(updated 27th February 2019)

Whitham Medal -

We are seeking nominations for the award of the Felix Whitham Memorial Medal. The medal is awarded “for contributions to new research into the geology of eastern Yorkshire or northern Lincolnshire, or it may be awarded for active contributions to geological outreach projects in the Hull area…. Nominations should be submitted by HGS members to the President or Secretary and will be considered by the HGS Committee.” Please submit you nominations before 19th March.

Thursday 21st March  - Evening Lecture - Prof David Bond of Hull University on "When life nearly died - new perspectives on the Permian-Triassic mass extinction" and "Ediacaran-like textured organic surfaces: microbial mats thrived after the Permian-Triassic mass extinction" with displays.

David Bond

Abstracts -

"When life nearly died - new perspectives on the Permian-Triassic mass extinction"

At the end of the Permian, 252 million years (Myr) ago, Earth suffered its greatest ever crisis during which around 90% of living species were wiped out. Almost every group was affected, on land, and in the oceans, and it is the only mass extinction of insects. This truly was "the day the Earth nearly died" (although it lasted significantly longer than a day!). This was an event so catastrophic that it wiped the evolutionary slate clean, ultimately paving the way for the rise of the dinosaurs (and then, of course, humans). But what could possibly have caused such a disaster?


Despite controversy over the timing of losses, radio-isotopic dating indicates that extensive damage was done to both terrestrial and marine ecosystems in a very brief interval around the end of the period. The focus now is on understanding the role of the proposed kill mechanisms, including (in no particular order): global warming, ocean anoxia (deoxygenation) and acidification, volcanic winter, hypercapnia (CO2 poisoning), aridity on land, increased sediment flux to the oceans, ozone destruction and resultant harmful ultraviolet-B radiation, acid rain, atmospheric oxygen depletion, and poisoning by toxic trace metals. Each has probable origins in Siberian Traps volcanism, in particular the vast volumes of gases (e.g. CO2) that must have been released. The latest work is beginning to reveal the likeliest culprits: extreme global warming and its knock-on effects, perhaps coupled with an acidification crisis in the oceans.

"Ediacaran-like textured organic surfaces: microbial mats thrived after the Permian-Triassic mass extinction"

Lower Triassic marine strata of the Sverdrup Basin (Arctic Canada) include a thick succession of sandy and silty facies that record life in the aftermath of the end Permian mass extinction. Proxies for oxygenation (trace metals, pyrite framboids) suggest that dysoxic conditions prevailed in the Basin for much of the Early Triassic. This suppressed bioturbation and allowed the frequent development of microbially-induced sedimentary structures (MISS), including wrinkle structures, Kinneyia and bubble texture. The microbial mats responsible for these structures are envisaged to have thrived, in dysoxic settings, within the photic zone, on fine sand substrates. The dysoxic history was punctuated by better-oxygenated phases, which coincide with the loss of MISS. Thus, Permo-Triassic boundary and Griesbachian mudrocks from the deepest-water settings have common benthos and a well-developed, tiered burrow profile dominated by Phycosiphon. MISS are also lacking from Skolithos-burrowed, nearshore sandstones that developed during basin-wide oxygenation in the late Dienerian. Intervals of the intense burrowing in the earliest Triassic contradicts the notion that bioturbation was severely suppressed at this time due to extinction losses at the end of the Permian.


Thursday 28th March 2019 - Dr Lyndsey Fox of Hull University on "Illuminating Anthropogenic climate change with 150 years of ocean science"

Abstract -

"Modern oceanography began with the HMS Challenger expedition from 1872 to 1876. This historic voyage was the first to specifically gather data on a wide range of ocean features, including ocean temperatures, seawater chemistry, currents, marine life and the geology of the sea floor. With the 150th anniversary of this momentous voyage fast approaching (2022), I aim to take the historical endeavours of this seminal expedition and combine them with 21st century cutting-edge science to tackle some of the most urgent questions of our time with regards to anthropogenic environmental change. The vast quantities of Challenger plankton tow material housed in the Natural History museum collections offers a singular opportunity to spotlight one of our most pressing environmental issues: ocean acidification (OA).

"Both measured and projected changes in seawater chemistry have potentially catastrophic biotic effects as OA hinders biogenic carbonate production, leading to substantial changes in marine ecosystems. Current attempts to address this issue via laboratory based studies have serious limitations, which can only be overcome by comparing newly discovered plankton tows from the historic HMS Challenger expedition (1872-1876) with the ground-breaking TARA expeditions (2009-2016). 

"Here we discuss the untapped potential of historical collections for gaining new insights into the sensitivity of the global climate system to CO2 forcing, as we present new data gathered over the past 12 months from two test sites in the tropical Pacific Ocean. These data revealed, without exception, that of the 24 specimens analysed through nanno-CT scanning; all modern foraminifera showed significantly thinner shells compared to their preindustrial counterparts (Figs. 1-3). Open ocean studies, such as this, are urgently needed to understand the impact of multi-stressor environments on shell parameters of multiple species, and reveal the magnitude of OA across the globe."

Thursday 21st February 2019  - Evening Lecture  - Prof Chris Clark of Sheffield University on the "Retreat of the last British-Irish Ice Sheet "

Abstract –

We have known for a long time that a kilometres-thick ice sheet largely covered Britain and Ireland during the last glacial, peaking at around 27,000 years ago. Most evidence for its geometry arises from tens of thousands of geological and geomorphological observations, but almost wholly restricted to land. The earliest researchers (e.g. Geike 1867) were happy to use simple glaciological logic (presumed ice sheet symmetry) to reconstruct ice margins that reached far offshore and to the continental shelf edge. Such views were rejected by more conservative and evidence-based approaches that followed, leading to reconstructions of a mostly terrestrially-restricted ice sheet. Numerical ice sheet models of the time did what they were told regarding ice limits. Over the last decade the focus of investigation has moved offshore, enabled by new high resolution bathymetric and shallow seismic data, and leading to a ‘gold-rush’ of discoveries that have transformed our understanding. The continental shelf has abundant evidence of grounded ice cover.


The BRITICE-CHRONO consortium of researchers has been a six year project to constrain the timing of retreat of the British-Irish Ice Sheet by a systematic dating programme focussed on the marine-to-terrestrial transition. From two research cruises some 18,000 km of geophysical data and 377 vibro- and piston cores, along with many stratigraphic sections on land have been used to provide material for dating. The aims and objectives of the project and progress thus far will be reported along with some highlights from the various transects under investigation. The new BRITICE Glacial map of Britain and Ireland will be shown which contains some 170,000 glacial landforms.


A unique piece of geo-art is for sale. For the "On the Endless Here" collaboration between local artists and members of the Society, Anna Kirk-Smith created a piece called “With a Learner’s Faith”. Anna is now moving to a smaller studio in Bridlington and would like to sell the work to a interested geologist rather than auction it. If you would like to make an offer please email the HGS Secretary.

“With a Learner’s Faith”

Anna describes the work -

This painting / construct was part of the On the Endless Here show;  the accompanying description is below. It is on MDF / wooden frame with a painted/drawn surface and 3D objects/fossils. It is quite large - approx. A1 in size.

This once was how the George Lamplugh described his approach to his studies of the Pleistocene tills and fossils at Bridlington Crag, including Danes Dyke, South Landing and Sewerby, my initial stomping grounds. He began his field observations in 1878, at the tender age of 19 years and was a descriptive genius. I put my “learners faith” (utterly devoid of genius) in the Hull Geological Society and began the exploratory field trips with the members to the headland (sagely noting the white stone,  and overlying brown ooze), beyond that observation in these initial days they could have been talking a foreign language. My early field book notes consist of a list of geological jargon with question marks beside them (for later looking-up in a dictionary), and copied (thankfully idiot-proof) diagrams that Mike Horne drew in the sand with his umbrella to explain the surroundings. Initially it didn’t help that this was a questionable landscape – I was trying to comprehend the unknown, the hypothesized, about a terrain that just kept throwing geological curveballs. However once I had settled into the frame of mind that 2+2 might equal 4, 5 or indeed any other random integer potentially proven or disproven by sampling; I became less worried by predetermined fact and more intent upon potential areas of enquiry.

After 2 years of field visits, gone to me  is the visually nice white chalk topped with that ooze of brown mud; and an appreciation has appeared of forensic searching for biostratigraphical fossils, posing reasons for folding and faulting, descriptions of marl content, determining the age and colour of till samples, magnifying grains of sand to distinguish the processes they have undergone, pondering the far flung origins of glacial erratics and weaving predictions around the size, sorting, orientation, shape and turbation of chalk clasts. Within these lay the foundation for the headland’s narrative probability.

So this particular artwork sprang from that empathy with Lamplugh’s initial search of an unexplored, misunderstood terrain. He possessed far more knowledge than I when he studied the headland, so as a complete initiate, I have in the artwork reverted to a primary Victorian method of learning: the ABC, and added a flavour of my research, queries, field notes and visual perceptions I had to forage for in order to try and understand some of the geological riddle of Flamborough."

Click here for the On the Endless Here Facebook page. There is also an OTEH website projects page on


Thursday 17th January 2019 - Evening lecture - Dr. Michael Oates on "Exploring Morocco's Palaeontological Riches".

Michael Oates

The speaker on a heavily dug hillside of Devonian mudstone near Tazoulait

Abstract - The southeastern part of Morocco lies within the limits of the Sahara Desert and is an arid desolate, scarcely inhabited environment, with an undulating eroded basement of folded Palaeozoic sediments beneath an unconformable cover of horizontal Cretaceous deposits.  The common theme to all these sediments is that they have suffered relatively little structural or thermal modification and are very fossiliferous.  An overland expedition in early 2018 examined the geology in three areas of southeast Morocco, near Taouz, Alnif and Goulmima, which is just at the margin of the Atlas mountains.  Because the African continent has remained fairly stable throughout Phanerozoic time, there has been less burial than might be expected, and the preservation of the fossils is correspondingly excellent.  Expect to hear about Ordovician trilobites in abundance, a surprise Silurian limestone with 3D graptolites, Devonian shelf faunas and Upper Cretaceous freshwater to marine fossils, and how they are found.  Without the restrictions of a 20kg airline baggage allowance, as many specimens as I can carry will be available to view on the night.

ammonite miners

Ammonite, Fish and Reptile miners of Asfla


Thursday 6th December 2018 -  Paul Hildreth on "Women in Geology"

P Hildreth lecture

Abstract -  “This talk was inspired by a meeting of the Yorkshire Geological Society, “Leading Yorkshire Figures in the History of Geology” in 2017 which featured many individuals but none of them women.  A little research into women geologists generally revealed that there had been outstanding contributions and that their achievements, more often than not, had been against the odds.  In more recent years several women stood out despite them working in a male-dominated branch of the sciences. 

 “The early female scientists had a number of common characteristics. They were often born into influential families, which allowed some women to work voluntarily, for no pay and usually no status, because they had a private income or were supported by a man.  It was common for male scientists to have female assistants, and the well-known male geologists of the time encouraged women to do some of the time-consuming work of writing and illustrating. These women often went unacknowledged and become lost to history. There were 24 women geologists in the 100 years of the 19th Century but none with formal training prior to 1890.

 “As a matter of delicacy I had not considered extant female geologists, though there would be several candidates for inclusion, until one was a guest on Radio 4’s “Desert Island Discs” in September 2017.  This immediately, at least in my mind, promoted her to the “inner circle” that I shall present.”

November 2018 (postponed) -  Dr Eddie Dempsey of Hull University on "The Great Glen Fault Zone - Back and forth for longer than we thought"

E Dempsey lecture

Abstract - " Deformation in the upper crust during orogenesis is often characterised by the reactivation of pre-existing structures. Unravelling the early deformation history of such structures such as the Great Glen Fault Zone (GGFZ) is generally problematic due to overprinting by subsequent events. While the Devonian to Oligocene movements of the GGFZ are well documented, the earliest deformations associated with this fault remain contentious with both sinistral and dextral early movements proposed. The GGFZ consists of a poorly exposed ̴ 300m wide intensely deformed fault core and a series of parallel synthetic high angle strike-slip faults. One such parallel structure is the Rubha na h-Earba Fault sits approx. 300m from the inferred GGFZ core and is exposed on the North shore of Loch Linnhe at Kilmalieu. Due to its proximity to the GGFZ it is reasonable to assume a common deformation history. Field analysis reveals, four distinct high angle fracture sets; Group 1 (ENE/WSW); Group 2 (N/S) and; Group 3 (NW/SE) and; Group 4 (NE/SW).Group 1 are associated with green cataclasites, slickenlines and R-shears. They predate the deposition of the overlying lower Devonian Rubha Na h-Earba Sandstone Formation. These are the earliest recognised GGFZ related structure and display dextral shears sense and are consistent with dextral motion of the Rubhba na h-Earba Fault within the GGFZ. Group 2 structures are associated with widespread brecciation and oxidation of the fault rock and are regularly seen to cross cut the Group 1 structures. Shear sense indicators (R-shears, oversteps, jogs, and offsets) are typically sinistral and are consistent with sinistral motion of the Rubha na h-Earba Fault. Group 3 are associated with minor calcite mineralization and camponite-monchiquite dykes emplaced during Permo-carboniferous dextral motion of the GGFZ. These structures regularly overprint groups 1 and 2 (locally reactivate group 2) and are predominantly tensile or dextral. Finally, Group 4 strike parallel to the Rubha na h-Earba Fault are heavily brecciated with cataclasites present. Shear sense indicators associated with these structures are mostly sinistral but dextral motions are common suggesting a complex reactivation history. Stress inversion, slip and dilation tendency modelling indicate that the Group 1 structures may have resulted from a regional stress regime consistent with E/W Scandian compression. This raises the intriguing possibility that the GGFZ formed as a Scandian transform fault at the southern end of the Moine Thrust Zone." We hope to reschedule this talk in 2019

At the Annual General Meeting in 2018 the following policies were adopted -

Thursday 15th March 2018 - Dr Katie Strang on "Urban geology: buildings rock!"

Abstract - Stone is one of our most important natural resources here in the UK and the local stone has provided a source of high quality, versatile and durable building material. Scotland has one of the richest legacies of traditional (pre-1919) buildings and other stone structures of any country in the world and the most common types of building stones are directly influenced by the areas underlying local geology. In Glasgow, many of the stone buildings were built in the second part of the 19th century and are now some of the stonework is showing signs of decay and calls for repair. Years of accumulation of air pollution from industry and domestic coal burning through much of the 20th century has accelerated stone decay in many parts of the city. Furthermore, inappropriate repairs have resulted in worsening of the problem. This talk will outline the most common building stones in Scotland and the North of England and the important physical properties of these building stones, and the importance in choosing a suitable replacement in building conservation.

Thursday 25th January 2018 - Dr Liam Herringshaw of Hull University "Burrowing Through Time".

Abstract - "My plan in this talk is to try and explain why burrowing worms are amongst the most important creatures on Earth (something that Darwin first realised), why they were crucial to the Cambrian Explosion of life on Earth, and also how fossilized burrows can affect the properties of economically important rocks, from oil and gas reservoirs to aquifers (not to mention shales that might be fracked). Last but not least, I will introduce the strange science of ichnology, and its even stranger practitioners, including the Oxford professor who made tortoises walk on pie dough."

Prof. John Catt died on 7th December 2017. John had been a member of the Society since 2006. He had been associated with Hull and Holderness for a long time; studying for his PhD with Lewis Penny at the University and writing extensively about the Quaternary ice ages in the region.

Thursday 14th December 2017 - Ian Heppenstall on "Grassington, Lea Green to Conniston Dib"

Abstract - The area to the north of Grassington including Grass and Bastow Woods, Lea Green, Kimpergill, White Nook Dib, the Old Pasture and concluding with Conistone Dib contain a wealth of glacio-karst features, numerous Bronze and Iron Age remains and, from a more recent period are crossed by a maze of lead workings. Large parts of these areas were cleared of trees at an early period and unlike many other places the monks of Fountains, or any other abbey were only allowed limited access. The dip of the limestone gives rise to a secondary valley formation high above and 'parallel' to the main valley of Wharfedale but still part of it with Conistone Old Pasture forming a high ridge between them. Other high features can be seen in the raised valley before the ground rises again towards the alternating layers of gritstones and limestones of Grassington Moor to the east of both Conistone and Grassington where, once again, many lead workings are to be found. All in all this is a most fascinating part of Higher Wharfedale. 

Thursday 9th November 2017 - Dr Rob Newton of Leeds University on  "The early Toarcian (Jurassic) oceanic anoxic event: untangling global and regional signals."

Abstract - The fascinating early Toarcian oceanic anoxic event in the early Jurassic is spectacularly represented at multiple locations on the north Yorkshire coast by the Jet Rock. This is an organic rich laminated shale that is thought to represent the local expression of a widespread depletion of oxygen in the worlds’ oceans. The sediments deposited in Yorkshire were laid down in shallow sea that covered a large portion of Europe and much of the work on this event has been conducted on rocks from this broad region. Such extensive shallow seas are a common feature of the ancient Earth but are much less extensive today.  Here I will outline some of the key evidence for changes in the Earth’s climate, weathering regime and ocean chemistry at this time, and show how we might be able to distinguish which parts of this evidence truly relate to global changes and which are more likely to relate to the poorly understood workings of these extensive shallow seas. 

Malcolm Fry died on 19th June 2017 - Paul Hildreth has written an obituary

19th October 2017  - Professor Patrick Boylan: Geological Sites on the World Heritage List.

Abstract -

In 1972 the United Nations Scientific, Educational and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) adopted the World Heritage Convention, which aims to promote and support the conservation of the world’s cultural and natural heritage.  This can be considered one of the world’s most successful international treaties in any field, as it has now been adopted by 193 States (and through them perhaps at least 30 subsidiary self-governing territories in addition). Though the original primary aim was that States adopting the Convention would adopt and implement national policies that would protect all aspects and levels of their national  heritage, it must be admitted that its runaway success has been the secondary aim of establishing a World Heritage List identifying site and monuments etc. considered to of the highest universal value and significance to the whole of humanity.  

Nominations for Inscription on the World Heritage List can only be made by States Parties, and these are then evaluated and voted on by an elected World Heritage Committee. However, in practice many States tend to prioritise their major national heritage resources with the aim of gaining additional international recognition and - increasingly - tourism numbers. 

Disappointingly, though geological interest and importance is one of the major criteria for inscription on the World Heritage List, in practice reatively few sites have been Inscribed wholly or partly because of their geological or geomorphological importance, (just 86 out of the 1052 World Heritage sites ). Further, the present list of geological inscriptions is very uneven and unrepresentative of geological periods and Earth processes, and localities of key significance in the history of geology are almost absent.

Biography -

Patrick Boylan, a Past President and Honorary Member of the Hull Geological Society and Professor Emeritus of Heritage Policy and Management at City University of London, was for many years an adviser   on museums, heritage and conservation to UNESCO, including the World Heritage Committee, and over the past forty years he has visited personally a significant proportion of the natural and cultural sites and monuments now on the World Heritage List.   In this illustrated lecture he will outline not just the operation of the Convention, but also the geological interest and significance of many of the geological sites on the List. 


Thursday 16th February 2017 -  Dr Mike Widowson of Hull University "Divining the Deccan: Tectonics, stratigraphy, timing and effects of a major Large Igneous Province (LIP)"

Mike Widdowson


Since publication of the milestone paper by Alvarez et al.1, the Cretaceous – Tertiary boundary (KTB) mass extinction has generally been considered the result of the Chicxulub impact and its attending environmental effects; a view reinforced by the recent contribution by Schulte et al.2. The main alternative hypothesis, Deccan volcanism, has often been regarded with more scepticism. However, in the decades since Alvarez et al., considerable research effort has been directed toward understanding the nature of the environmental change deriving from both scenarios, and determining the wider global context immediately prior to, at, and after the KTB. Accordingly, the body of scientific evidence, analytical techniques, and the understanding of key KTB sections in and around the in the world are now sufficiently mature to allow renewed debate concerning the causes and origin of environmental change at the KTB. In the case of the Deccan, this effort has relied on palaeomagnetism3, geochronology, volcanology4, stratigraphy5 and palaeontology.

 Numerous studies have found significant correlation of timing of mass extinction events with that of continental flood basalt (CFB) eruptions, thus suggesting a possible cause-and-effect. The two commonly cited CFB – extinction scenarios are the Siberian Traps - Late Permian extinction, and the Deccan – KTB extinction.  However, to explore the robustness of such relationships requires both detailed understanding of CFB volcanology and lava stratigraphies, and the application of high precision dating. The aim of this research talk is to explore these approaches, and establish what it is we currently know about the Deccan.

 Previous dating studies of the Deccan Traps, India, have concentrated upon classic sections exposed along the Western Ghats escarpment. These have provided insight regarding the timing and duration of the CFB, and indicate a geologically rapid eruption near to, and across the KTB. However, whilst these sections provide access to key parts of the Deccan succession, they do not provide a complete chronological record of the eruptions. Rather, it is the well-established stratigraphical architecture of the Deccan CFB that has offered the framework for a comprehensive sampling programme. 40Ar/39Ar dating of the basal lavas reveal late Maastrictian ages (66.7 0.5 Ma), and indicate that the volcanism began in the north-western region c. 1 – 2 Ma before the KTB. The Deccan eruptions reached their acme during Chron 29R, with successively younger lava fields building on the southern flank of an evolving Deccan volcanic edifice. The final Deccan eruptions are thus preserved in the south-western Deccan (63.7 0.3 Ma), and form the upper part of the widespread and volumetrically significant Wai Subgroup which was erupted across the KTB5,6. These age data demonstrate a duration of at least 2 – 3 Ma for the Deccan CFBP and, when combined with the associated physical volcanology, are significant because they place constraints upon the timing and efficacy of Deccan eruptions as a cause of Cretaceous global environmental deterioration.

 1.     Alvarez, L.W., Alvarez, W., Asaro, F., and Michel, A.V. (1980) Science, 208 (no.4448), 1095-1108.

2.     Schulte et al. (2010) Science 327 (no. 5970), 1214-1218.

3.     Chenet, A.L., et al. (2008), Journal of Geophysical Research., 113, B04101, doi:10.1029/2006JB004635.

4.     Self, S., Widdowson, M., Thordarson, T. and Jay, A.E. (2006) Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 248, 517 - 531.

5.     Jay, A.E. and Widdowson, M. (2008)  Journal of the Geological Society of London, 165, 177-188.

6.     Hooper, P.R., Widdowson, M. and Kelley, S.P. (2010) Geology 38(9), 839-842.


Thursday 15th December 2016 -  Dr Anna Bird of Hull University on “Metamorphism of the Caledonides of Scotland, deformation of a mountain belt”

Anna Bird

ABSTRACT - The Caledonian Orogeny represents the closure of the Iapetus Ocean and Caledonian orogenic events in northern Scotland are traditionally interpreted in terms of two separate orogenic events: an early Ordovician (~ 470-465 Ma, Grampian) arc-continent collision, followed by Silurian (~ 435 – 425 Ma, Scandian) continent-continent collision of eastern Laurentian and Baltica.  These events overprint the effects of much earlier mid-Neoproterozoic (Knoydartian) orogenesis representing the closure of a much older ocean basin.  Dating metamorphic minerals is one method of establishing when deformation events occurred and are useful in helping to establish how long it took these ocean basins to close. Many garnets from many different lithologies from the Highlands have Scotland have been dated.  New dates show that there is also a 450 Ma deformation event within the Caledonian Orogeny. The ages obtained throw further light on the timing of orogenic events and indicate a more complex Caledonian history than hitherto suspected.  New Neoproterozoic ages show that this area has been affect by early two stages of deformation, a much more widespread Knoydartian event, and ages, ranging from 947-748 Ma, which may be correlated with the an earlier orogenic event (980-910 Ma) recorded in East Greenland. These dates suggests that it may have taken almost 100 Ma to close the Iapetus ocean and the Neoproterozoic ocean basin appears to have taken even longer or perhaps closed in several stages.

Thursday 19th January 2017 - Ian Heppenstall on "the Geology along the north and middle Craven Faults between Malham and Threshfield".

I Heppenstall

Abstract - Near Malham the North and Middle Craven Faults begin to converge, being at their closest in Threshfield . Parts of their courses are indistinct but across Threshfield Malham Moor and Threshfield Moor they show up very plainly, whilst there are other geological, archaeological and historic features around and adjacent to them. By means of maps and photographs I will show and explain these features.

Thursday 20th October 2016 -  Prof Mark Seaward and Mike Horne on "Geolichenology of churchyards".

Lichens in churchardslichens in churchyardslichens in churchyards

Abstracts -

Mark Seaward PhD, DSc, Emeritus Professor at Bradford University, has a strong interest in biomonitoring pollution for which he has been internationally honoured, including the Acharius Medal, the Ursula Duncan Award and Doctor honoris causa of Wrocław University. He was the editor of The Naturalist for 34 years, is the author and editor of numerous books, and written more than 435 scientific papers, including many concerned with the biodeterioration of stonework by lichens.

"For almost half a century our speaker has investigated the lichens of churches and churchyards, including 646 out of a possible 703 churches in Lincolnshire. The wide variety of surfaces of local and imported materials (limestones, sandstones, granite, slate, wood, metal, etc.) support characteristic lichen assemblages which create a colourful mosaic reflecting the patina of time. These habitats should be conserved on biological as well as historical grounds. However, as revealed in most of the 75 churchyards resurveyed in the past 15 years, their sanctity and integrity has been lost through a wide range of disruptive human activities, more particularly chemical and mechanical cleaning of stone surfaces and the removal or re-siting of gravestones, exacerbated by pollution, poor maintenance, neglect or total abandonment, and even the creation of ‘nature reserves’.  Due to their sensitivity to such disturbances, lichens have often been the major casualties. "

Mike Horne FGS has been the Secretary of the Hull Geological Society since 1984 and has a keen interest in "Urban Geology".

"Churches, graveyards and cemeteries provide fascinating opportunities to study geology and weathering processes as well as social history and wildlife. In the lecture the speaker will also explore the threats to the geoconservation of these sites."

Summer 2016 - Message from the Secretary - I apologise for the delay in posting the Summer Programme to members and a lack of e-mail newsletters; my new PC was faulty and PC World took 6 weeks to fit a new motherboard and then wiped the hard-drive. Now I am having to reinstall my software and data files on the hard-drive. The e-mail address book has been lost so please would members send me a e-mail so I can capture their address?

Easter 2016 Nine members attended the Conservation Visit to Rifle Butts SSSI and the Society thanks them for their help. There was not a much work to do as usual due to the mild winter; though we did experience several seasons' weather on the day (sunshine, April showers, hail and sleet)!

The Society adopted an amended Rules at the 2016 AGM and the Committee has created a set of policy documents to add details and outline current practice. The subscription year has been changed to a calendar year starting on January 1st, but members are encouraged to pay in advance when they receive the Winter Programme in October.

Sheila Rogers passed away on 1st March 2016. Sheila joined the Society in June 1972 and resigned in May 2011. She became a member of the Committee in 1981 and was Vice President in 1983-4 and President from 1984 to 1987. She was also the Membership Secretary of the Yorkshire Geological Society. The Society sends its condolences to Peter and the family.

Sheila Rogers

New for 2016 - we will be adding pages from previous publications (Transactions of the Hull Geological Society and East Yorkshire Field Studies). The Committee is proposing to change the Rules to reflect current practice, details will be posted with the AGM agenda. We will also be publishing generic risk assessments and more information for members.

Thursday 17th March  - Prof. Mark Bateman of Sheffield University on "A Winter’s Tale: When England was really frozen"

Abstract - " During the Last Glaciation (~21,000 years ago) of the UK ice on the Eastern side of England stretched as far south as Yorkshire and the Norfolk Coast of East Anglia.  As part of an ongoing large research project called BRITICE-CHRONO the timing of the deglaciation of the whole of the UK is being attempted.  This talk will look at the latest ideas of how far ice reached in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Norfolk, when it advanced and when it retreated.  The talk will also look at the wonderful preserved periglacial landscape beyond the ice limits to be found in Norfolk and Suffolk.  Here, the Upper Cretaceous limestones (chalk) has been subjected to intense cold climates giving rise to distinctive patterned ground. But is this landscape just the result of the cold associated with the Last Glaciation or something which has evolved over much longer parts of the Quaternary period?"

Saturday 20th  February 2016 - Dean Lomax of the University of Manchester on "British Dinosaurs: A Story Untold"


This meeting was attended by over 60 people and I thank the audience for their generous donations to Society funds.

I also thank the Security and Portering Staff at the University for finding us a suitable lecture theatre at short notice because the one we planned to use had been double booked.


Also unfortunately the Society's signing-in book was stolen at the meeting. The book was started at the 125th Anniversary Celebrations and formed an interesting archive.


dino audience


Abstract -

 'Dinosaur' and 'Britain' are two words that are rarely used together, yet dinosaurs are a British invention! If you were asked to name a dinosaur, the chances are you would give a foreign example, such as Tyrannosaurus rex, despite the term 'dinosaur' having been conceived by a British palaeontologist for fossils found in England. In this engaging talk, Dean Lomax, will give an overview of the extraordinary dinosaur remains found across Britain. The talk was followed by a book signing.


Dean Lomax


Dean is an award-winning palaeontologist, science communicator and author. He has travelled around the world and worked on many fascinating projects from excavating dinosaurs in the American West to discovering new species of extinct marine reptiles in the UK. An Honorary Scientist at The University of Manchester, Dean is passionate about communicating palaeontology and actively engages with traditional and social media. He has written two books, numerous scientific papers and many popular articles and regularly appears on television, most recently as series advisor and recurring on-screen expert for ITV’s Dinosaur Britain (a two-part series based in-part on the book Dinosaurs of the British Isles). Dean is also the patron of UKAFH. You can follow Dean’s adventures using Twitter and Facebook.

Thursday 11th February 2016 - Terry Rockett on "Five active volcanoes in southern Italy"

Abstract -

During and since the Tertiary era the African Tectonic Plate has been moving northwards into the Eurasian Plate. At first this resulted in the closing of the Tethys Ocean. The leading edge of the Eurasian Plate buckled and folded to form the Alps. An andesitic island arc formed, becoming some of the Aeolian Islands. The islands are geologically young, the oldest dating back only 330,000 years. Vulcano and Stromboli (the only constantly erupting volcano in Europe) are here.

On Sicily Etna is Europe’s largest volcano and one of the most active volcanoes on earth. On the mainland Vesuvius is a classic  strato-cone volcano, and Solfatara, to the west of Naples, is a low lying volcano with a magma chamber just beneath the surface.

In the talk the geological setting and characteristics of each volcano will be described.

Thursday 19th November 2015 -  Ian Heppenstall on "Geology between Settle and Malham".

Abstract -

A traveller stopping when on Scothrop Lane and looking towards the north will find an exiting landscape revealed to them. Rising abruptly from the moor, a number of hills are visible, with the line of the Middle Craven Fault looming behind or between them. On the clearest of days Malham Cove and Cawden can be seen to terminate the line in the east whilst opposite the traveller is the gritstone of Kirby Fell backed by the limestone of Pikedaw and to the west of these Rye Loaf Hill can be seen. West of Rye Loaf, closer to Settle, the view is not so well defined and it is best to continue west to find out what is there. Having passed Scaleber Force where the waters of Stockdale Beck tumble down the South Craven Fault a stop at the end of Stockdale Lane provides the best view of the magnificent, limestone crags of the Middle Craven Fault as they rise almost vertically from the grassy, scree slopes beneath. turning towards the west there are more crags on  High Hill, these being part of the South Craven Fault.


There is only one good way to see all this scenery and that is to set off walking and to view it close up. So, if you are an enthusiast of the Yorkshire Dales (or not) join us on 19th. November 2015 at a meeting of Hull Geological Society in the Cohen Building (University of Hull) and I will take you on a geological journey, beginning in Settle and ending at Gordale Scar near Malham, explaining some karst features, introducing you to some of the local notable geologists and visiting a few historic sites scattered about the landscape.


The latest news about the Chalk Symposium on 10th to 13th September 2015 is that -

The following speakers have confirmed - Felix Gradstein, Rory Mortimore and Chris Jeans.

Rory will be speaking about "Offshore Northern Province Chalks in the North Sea".

Booking via Eventbrite is still open – follow the links from the YGS website. The closing date for registration is 1st September. You must register if you wish  to attend any session (including the Saturday afternoon keynote lectures). A full list of speakers and their abstracts is being added to the HGS website as details are received from the Symposium Secretary, Dave Greenough. The Symposium Dinner is likely to cost 49 for a 3 course meal and is likely to be held at an hotel in the city centre.

Yorkshire Geology Month 2015 is being organised by Paul Hildreth for the Yorkshire Geological Society. A full listing of the 15 events is available on the Yorkshire Geological Society website. Hull Geological Society members are leading or contributing to these events -

Saturday 25th April 2015 - "Yorkshire Geology Day" at the National Coal Mining Museum for England, Caphouse Colliery

Sunday 26th April - Chalk Lithostratigraphy and Structure in East Yorkshire organised by Huddersfield Geology Group and led by Paul Hildreth.

Sunday 10th May at 11.00. Auk and Chalk Walk at the Bempton Cliffs Reserve on Flamborough Head led by Paul Hildreth.

Saturday 16th May at 11.00 – 15.00. Rock and Fossil Road Show at the Treasure House, Beverley

Saturday 16th May at 11.00 - “Where Elephants once Roamed” at Welton-le-Wold Quarry

Sunday 24th May at 11.00. Auk and Chalk Walk at the Bempton Cliffs Reserve on Flamborough Head led by Paul Hildreth.

Saturday 30th May ."What can we learn from the Chalk of the Wolds?" organised by the Scarborough Rotunda Geology Group and led by Derek Gobbett.

Sunday 31st May at 10.15. Hull City Centre Walk led by Mike Horne

Theft of HGS Intellectual Property - (Mike Horne - HGS General Secretary writes-)

A member of the Open University Geological Society contacted me in January 2015 because she was disappointed with an App had bought from the Apple I-Tunes Store. I investigated further. The App was called "Fossil Guide" and was being sold by someone called "Rick Stonecypher" (perhaps a pseudonym) of a company called for 99 US cents or 66 pence (Sterling) by Apple I-Tunes. The App was valued to be worth $ 3646 even though it had mixed reviews from its customers.

The OU member told me "It seems they have used a number of your photographs but then misquoted your information and added bits of their own which are mainly incorrect. " I looked at the advert for the "Fossil Guide" App on the Apple I-Tunes website and the 24 pictures of fossils on the screenshot seemed to be small versions 24 of the 28 images on the "East Coast Fossils Identification" on the Hull Geological Society web-pages created in 2007 by David Baker that can be viewed by anyone for free.

I contacted Apple I-Tunes to request a copyright fee for the HGS. Apple told me that they were not responsible for the content of the Apps they sell. They did pass on our complaint to Mr. Stonecypher of and this is his reply :- "We bought images from an Indian coder many years ago that made our app , we will remove the app now and try to contact the freelance site to see if the coder can explain further. We are currently filing closure of our corporation and going into bankruptcy so thank you for contacting us to remove the application promptly. We apologize for any inconvenience as we check to verify what images and why they were used. I will update you if I find more information. …..I don't normally check this email so I feel blessed to receive your contact today. Thank you and God bless"

Sunday 14th June 2015 - field meeting to Victoria Cave and Warrendale led by Ian Heppenstall. Booking Required.

"Passing through the Horseshoe Iron Age Settlement the walk takes in Attermire Scar, Warrendale, Attermire Cave, Victoria Cave and Jubilee Cave, plus some stunning limestone scenery. Bring a powerful torch and a hard hat. The event lasts 3-4 hours is over slippery and rocky paths. After Jubilee Cave we will retrace our steps."

"The Warrendale Caves are situated in the limestone uplands to the east of Settle and include Attermire Cave, Victoria Cave, Jubilee Cave and numerous others. The scar in which they lie is named Attermire Scar and on the west side of the valley from which they are accessed is Warrendale Knotts, a limestone knoll with a number of summits - the Knotts. The dale, which runs in approximately north/south direction takes its name from the large number of rabbit warrens within it and, possibly, the warren of caves. The ground is usually littered with the carcasses of dead rabbits and the shotgun cases from the means of their demise.

"Our walk starts at a gate accessed from Stockdale Lane, from which we proceed towards Settle along an old road. When we reach the pass between Sugar Loaf Hill and Warrendale Knotts we turn right (north) without passing through a gate ahead of us. We then continue along Warrendale where we can see the caves in the bedded limestone scars. Limited entry is possible for short distances into some of them but for deep penetration caving gear is necessary. Powerful torches can be used to view into the caves from their entrances. Jubilee cave can be entered an explored as natural light penetrates but the roof is low and it is necessary to stoop. Water drips from the roof and the cave floor is very wet. The only time I entered Victoria Cave I found the floor to be muddy and slippery. The darkness was overwhelming and my torch beam would not penetrate. I did not go far. Turning back at Jubilee cave gives the opportunity to view the caves twice or to venture up on the Knotts for a while.

"The total distance walked will be about four miles and it should be possible to complete it in four hours or less.

"Members should allow two and a half hours travelling time to reach the Stockdale Lane gate by 1100 hours. This means leaving Hull at about 0830. I recommend that people meet at the university and share cars so that Stockdale lane is not choked up with parked cars. Finishing at 1500 hours should mean that members can be back in Hull for 1730.

"The best route from Hull, Beverley etc. is to travel to the Market Weighton Bypass and then take the A59, bypassing York, passing through Tadcaster then to Knaresborough and Harrogate. Heavy traffic is often encountered on High Harrogate. From Harrogate continue past Menwith Hill listening station, through Blubberhouses and over Blubberhouses Moor taking the road to Skipton. At Skipton take the bypass and continue on the Gargrave road.

"At Gargrave there are two alternatives: 1) Turn right in the village onto the Eshton/Malham Road and continue to Airton. Pass through Airton and at the other side take the road through Scothrop. This leads onto Scothrop Lane which leads to High Lane. Just after passing Scaleber Force turn right onto Stockdale Lane and proceed up the lane until you see me and Mary standing at the gate. 2) Continue through Gargrave to Settle. Upon entering the township turn right and follow the roads to High Settle. At a Y junction on High Settle there is a very sharp right turn which leads on to High Lane. Continue on High Lane and just before reaching Scaleber Force turn left onto Stockdale lane, proceeding until reaching a suitable parking spot near the gate.

"Please bear in mind that Stockdale farm is a working farm from which silage is sold and is also a cattle and sheep farm. June is a month when silage may be cut and there may be grass cutting machinery and/or cattle trucks on the move even on a Sunday. Please park close in and remember that grass verges may be boggy if the weather has been wet. "

Sunday 31st May 2015 - Urban Geology Walk in Hull led by Mike Horne (part of Yorkshire Geology Month 2015) . Meet outside the Tourist Information Office at City Hall, Queen Victoria Square at 10-30 am. Lasts about 2 hours, bring a magnifying glass. No charge but donations to Hull Geological Society funds would be appreciated.

Saturday 16th May 2015 - Rock and Fossil Roadshow at the Treasure House in Beverley - 11 am to 3pm. Bring along your rock, fossil and mineral finds to be identified by members of the Hull Geological Society. Learn more about what can be found locally; look at displays and talk to experts. Please note that no valuations can be given. There will be a hands-on craft activity for children of all ages. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Admission free.

Thursday 5th March 2015- by Rodger Connell on "From Wollaston and Brora to Brae: Understanding your oil field: or the search for an analogue?"

Abstract -

South Brae is a world class oilfield located 160 miles northeast of Aberdeen, close to the UK/Norway boundary line in the North Sea. Its reservoir rocks were deposited during the Late Jurassic in a failed rift system (the South Viking Graben) before crustal extension switched to the North Atlantic margin. It was discovered in 1977 (previous exploration wells had discovered a number of other fields in the area) but was the first into production through the Brae A platform in 1983. To date some 340 mmbbls of oil have been produced from some 800 mmbbls originally in the reservoir, and it is still producing. The top of the reservoir is at ~11,800 ft below sea level with a gross oil column of 1,670 ft and a reservoir pressure of 7,128 psia. It is one of a number of fields in the area which have produced over 1.6 billion barrels of oil to date.

However, its early history was one of controversy over the model used to describe the deposition of the Late Jurassic reservoir sediments. The model being important as it drives the placing of wells to extract oil in the most efficient fashion. Initially it was thought the reservoir was a series of stacked, semi-circular, fan deltas. Others thought the rocks were part of a small radius submarine fan with contrasting predictions for reservoir distribution. The earliest development well did not show the prognosed stratigraphy so as part of the ongoing field development work a number of potential analogue sequences were visited to examine the rock types deposited, along with a review of the geology of cores already recovered from the reservoir. We were lucky enough to visit East Greenland to see modern fan deltas and Jurassic/Cretaceous coarse grained submarine fan deposits. In northern Scotland we visited the onshore outcrop of Middle-Late Jurassic sediments deposited contemporaneously with those at Brae in the rifted Inner Moray Firth Basin.

The talk will focus on the rocks we visited in East Greenland (Wollaston Foreland) and the Brora-Helmsdale area in northern Scotland, with a few diversions along the way. These visits, along with detailed sedimentological and palaeontological work on the core material recovered, allied to better quality 3D seismic surveys and extensive reservoir engineering studies by the Brae teams, resulted in improved reservoir models both at the field and regional scales. Though no one outcrop visited provided a complete analogue for the South Brae reservoir they certainly allowed a much better understanding of depositional processes within the evolving rift basin and the likely organisation of the reservoir units and their controls.

A number of typical core sequences recovered from the South Brae reservoir will be on display so you can try your hand at unravelling the depositional processes at work to form the reservoir back in the Late Jurassic!

Thursday 26th February 2015 - joint evening meeting with the Harker Geological Society at 6-20pm - lecture by Lyall Anderson :- "Alfred Harker's Times and Travels".

abstract -

Documents held by the Archive of the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences (University of Cambridge) have provided new insights into the eminent igneous petrologist Alfred Harker (1859 - 1939). His meticulously kept field notebooks and sketchbooks chart his development as a geologist over a career spanning some 60 years.

The enthusiastic boy who collected fossils on the North Yorkshire coast, became an undergraduate at St. John's College, Cambridge, before working as a Demonstrator for the Department of Geology and the Woodwardian Museum there. Affiliated with the Museum, Harker continued his fieldwork and collecting, including an extended trip to the Western USA in 1891, and collaborative work in the English Lake District with his friend John E. Marr (1857 - 1933).

Later in 1895, Harker accepted a part-time contract geological mapping on the Isle of Skye with the Geological Survey of Scotland. Over the next ten years, this led to several Survey Memoirs along with many new discoveries and insights into igneous processes.

In retirement, Harker continued to visit Scotland taking pleasure cruises around the West coast in the 1920's and 30's. Sat on deck, he sketched the landscape and geology as it passed by. His work on what was then called the Tertiary Volcanic Province was continued by one of his former students, Edward B. Bailey (1881 - 1965), no doubt under his mentor's encouraging and watchful eye.

This work is part of a much larger project to document and make accessible geological archive materials through a free online resource called "The Archives Hub". [].

Speaker's biography.

Lyall Anderson is currently an Honorary Research Fellow with the School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester. His interest in geology began at an early age with collecting the Devonian fossils and agates of the East coast of Scotland. He worked at National Museums of Scotland for 7 years curating the invertebrate fossils before moving to Cambridge in 2007 to work on Charles Darwin's geological collections. Whilst there, he uncovered Alfred Harker's vast archive in boxes in the museum store. Some findings from this form the basis of the talk to the Society. He is married and now lives in Bradford, West Yorkshire.


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